Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Elephant in the Room

It seems nobody wants to talk about the stimulus package, so I thought I would put down my very long two cents, and then let the debates begin:

First off, I do think it is a lot of spending and it seems that it won't create a whole ton of jobs. I think every aspect of the stimulus package must be about job creation- there is some of that, with spending on green energy, but not nearly enough in my opinion. I really think this package should be all about creating work for people.

I will agree with the Rep. that there is a lot of money being spent to possibly make people a little dependent. If they had jobs, they wouldn't need to be dependent on government subsidies, so I will agree with the Reps. on that and say once again that the package needs to be all about job creation so that people won't need to get unemployment checks.

However, I absolutely disagree with the Reps. that the solution is "more tax cuts." It's like they only know two words- "tax cuts" -and that is the only way anything good can happen. Give me a break- get off of your one trick pony show, and come up with something that will actually work! You had the power for 8 years and had all kinds of tax cuts, and look where we are. If people aren't working, how on earth will tax cuts help them? Six percent of zero is still zero! And to pretend like you're the good guy (referring to the elected officials, here) and you want to give businesses tax cuts to keep jobs in America is a joke- you're the ones who encouraged businesses to LEAVE America by giving them tax cuts to open plants in China! Come on, now- let's be a little realistic here- don't pretend like you (the elected officials) care about the working class when all you care about is how much CEO's make. GRRR.....

I do like the increased funding in education- which does create more jobs in the field of education. Now NCLB will actually be funded (don't get me started on what a horrible thing NCLB is, but at least with it being funded that would help). I also like the infrastructure projects- I wish there were more of those. I also think this money needs to be closely regulated- I am REALLY REALLY REALLY (did I mention really?) ticked off that the first stimulus package came with little regulation and all those billions of dollars just magically disappeared- wow, who would have thought if you gave the money to thieves and didn't watch the money that would happen? Everybody except the elected officials, I guess.

OK, those are just some first impressions I have of the package- now debate away!


Lula O said...

I agree. There is much debate about the effectiveness of this stimulus, but the majority of articles I've read say, most non-partison economists agree it should help inject needed monies for job creation and encourage public spending.

There's no panacea for what ails the economy. Other stuff is needed too, something to spark lending from banks and increase consumer confidance. And boy in Idaho, we need the money for education. Our gov. cut their budget by the millions! The money per student was already one of the lowest in the nation!

Reagan came into office during a recession as well and his reaction was a tax cut for everybody and every business that made over 50,000. But this situation is much worse than the 80's. The tanking of the middle class is just as much of a problem that needs fixing as is their solution of cutting taxes for big business so they can create more jobs.

Hopefully they can find middle ground.

okbushmans said...

You finally made me write my thoughts about this overweight pacaderm, which I did on the Moms blog.

I get so absolutely blue in the face when thinking about bail outs and stimulus packages. I have been against it, and will be until I see one actually be effective and used what it was promised for.

Bryce and Mandy said...

What I find funny is that so many people are complaining about the stimulus packages but they don't offer any of their ideas (and I mean realistic ones here) as alternatives to fix our economy.

I really don't think that those that come up with these stimulus plans are trying to screw up our nation even more. I actually, believe it or not, think they are trying the best way the can think of to help get our ecomony going.

Lula O said...

So I read not one Republican voted for the bill. Lovely. One news station noted nothing but "partisan rancor and name-calling" today.
Wasn't Obama making an effort to reach out to Republicans? Didn't he make more than one visit to Capitol Hill? And yes he did water it down. He did concede them some points with nothing to show for it.

Like Okbushman said, are they just trying to send him a message or did they really dislike the bill?
Gosh that's a tough one...hmm.. I wonder which one it could be.
Hello, ladies. Politics as usual. Again.

okbushmans said...

My opinion is the remaining Republicans who managed to hold on to their seats, are actually listening to their constituents. Before the first 'bail out' offices of every Congressman were overwhelmed with angry citizens adamently opposed to the bill. (lowest figure I heard was 62% opposed) I heard MANY congressmen (including my own) say at one point, "The American people just don't understand". I think this past election scared the Republican's straight, and now they are listening. (And yes, I've already made calls to my Representatives regarding this bill).

Really, the easy thing for them to do would be to jump on the Obama band wagon, be 'skeptically on board', then when it fails to do it's intended purpose (which I believe it will, seeing the others have failed miserably) blame the 'current administration' for the woes of the American people. And let's not forget who owns the majority of America's debt? China. What happens when those debt collectors come calling? Will we print billions of dollars for them?

Ben and Christina said...

Well, yesterday Ed Schultz was talking to the junior congressman from the 6th district in NY, and he was saying that they had 30 republicans who were going to vote "yes" on the bill but were then threatened by the other republicans and so voted party-line again. I have seen this happen before- Ramey Johnson, one of our Rep. state reps in CO voted no on a voucher bill and the R. gov at the time called him on it- during open session in front of everyone- and told him if he didn't vote yes his political career was over. Ramey stuck to his guns, and sure enough- next election cycle, the Reps. slaughtered his very good name and he was easily defeated in the primaries by another Rep. So, I don't think it was just about "sticking to their guns" I think it was about voting party line- as Lula said, politics as usual. I think it looks bad for Reps- Americans want bipartisanship, and that just showed they are unwilling to work with Dems- even when they make concessions. I think it deserves another GRRRR...

Ben and Christina said...

I must now say- I am very disappointed in Obama. He is rooting for Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl, and I just can't condone that kind of behavior...I am quite upset about this.

Lula O said...

Pittsburgh! Good grief.

I found an interestng quote this morning in the paper from of course, a Democrat. I share his sentiment.
"I think the Republican's have painted themselves into a box. If the stimulus package works, they were wrong. For them to be right, the economy has to tank. They seem to be rooting for a bad economy."

We can all thank Rush for that one. What an inspiration he is.

It's a big gamble giving a popular president the cold shoulder, especially after he tried some bipartisanship.
Will it pay off? We'll see come two years. Those guys started campaigning for 2010 as soon as he finished the oath.

Now to be fair, if the roles were reversed would the Democrats have done the same thing?

Absolutely, and I'm disgusted. I'm curious if Congress and the Senate were all mainly women instead of men. Oh how different things would be. I honestly believe that.

okbushmans said...

To make the claim this is party politics is just as depressing a thought as all of us Republicans want President Obama to fail. (Which I can say with confidence that is not true for the majority). You are banking on the worst in people, that they are only interested in power and not for the benefit of the country. I don't see the difference.

And it is nice to see that the other point of view is being represented. (Even with 11 Democrats agreeing with the Republicans, why not talk about their bipartisanship) Remember, 47% of the people didn't vote for President Obama, hold conservative views, and want representation. And from polls I've seen lately, all results show around 50% (or more depending on the poll) are against this bill.

By the way, the bill passed. Isn't this what the Democrats wanted? Control of both houses and the white house to get the legislation through they wanted? I don't understand why they care to have the 'bipartisan support', they don't need it. Do you think in part because they don't want 100% of the blame IF it fails (big IF), since 100% of the vote was democrat. Same cynnical party politics view right? Who knows.

Ben and Christina said...

I will say I am glad I am not a lawmaker right now...

OK, so here's my question: Forget about dems or reps, or whatever. If we were the world leaders (if we were, or course, then we wouldn't be in this mess to begin with), what would you do to fix it? I'm truly asking this because I want to know- and my tone is one of curiosity, because I know I ceratinly have my ideas! I think we can solve this problem right now:)

I would: create jobs. That's it- my #1 goal. If people have jobs, they can pay their mortgage- no banking crisis, less government dependency. That would be what I would do.

What would you all do if you had the magic wand??

okbushmans said...

I'm glad you point out the obvious, if we were in charge, this wouldn't have happened!

I agree in creating jobs. If a company is hurting financially they first quit hiring, then start firing. It costs money to hire someone. If their corporate tax was lowered, they would have more corporate money to spend. (interesting article on Wall Street Journal's site).

I LOVED what Pres. Obama said in his inauguration speech: "whether [government] works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end." Many govt. agencies need to be reformed, or "end". This year (including the stimulus pkg) the govt is already promising to spend close to $2 TRILLION!!!

And read up about Mayor Bloomberg. He is a smart businessman and is cutting WAY back on NYC's spending, instead of asking for a govt 'bail out' (like Cali's "Rep" Governator!).

But I am NOT money/economy expert, but I haven't had problems with my taxes, so maybe I'm qualified to respond. Let's hear more ideas, I'd love to know!

Lula O said...

I've been reading about this all weekend, and quite frankly I wished I hadn't. Our country's in a big mess. Not one bit of joy in any of the articles.

While job creation is important, so is dealing with the housing market and increasing consumer confidance. This isn't like the early eighties. I can't be dealt with the same way. Too many other factors are in play.

They say the bill will be cleaned up a bit in the Senate, slicing off some of the pork projects. I'm sure concessions and adjustments will be made before it reaches Obama's desk.

All I know is that our school superintendent just said if the state cuts their funding anymore, student achievement will be affected. So, like health care, is getting a quality education a "privilege" or a "right"?

Is government the "guarantor of opportunity" or the "provider of benefits"?

I found a good quote from Abe Lincoln, 1854. "The legitimate object of government is to do for the people what needs to be done, but which they can not, by individual effort, do at all, or do so well, for themselves."

I didn't know Abe Lincoln was a dreaded Socialist. No wonder he was such a good president.

okbushmans said...

Looking at what Abraham Lincoln was facing in his time, I doubt he was discussing socialism. My guess is that he is referring to slaves, a government stepping in when their individual efforts were being squashed.

Especially when you find pesky quotes from Abraham Lincoln such as: "You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves." That eliminates the concept of socialism. But it is hard to interpret someone's exact position from one or two quotes. Too bad Abe isn't hear to pick his brain.

Lula O said...

I was mainly picking nits. I wasn't being serious. I'm just tired of the whole "socialist" and "we're going straight to Hell because of it" argument being brought up whenever a Democrat get elected. It's become a bit tiring.

okbushmans said...

I agree. There are obviously at least 11 democrats in the house who don't support socialism! :)

As does everything politics, it swings both ways. You are socialist tree-hugging hippies who stick it to the man by not paying your taxes, and we are evil-corporation-puppets-who will sell our grandma's ashes for oil, in the same time taking away every civil liberty known to man, in some sort of 1984 Big Brother scheme.

Going back to Christina's question, what are the alternative solutions to this mess?

okbushmans said...

I know it's late in the game, but I heard two other good ideas from a BIG financial guy (can't remember his name). He proposed lowering the payroll taxes by half (it is now 15%) which would put money into our pockets and our employers pockets. I thought this was a great idea! He also suggested lowering the interest rate on mortgages, and allow those who are in trouble of foreclosure to refinance with the lower rate, with ONE stipulation. They can not sell their home for "x" amount of years (he said 3). This allows the banks to keep business, people to stay in homes responsibly, and time for the housing market to calm down. Smart right? I thought so.

Lula O said...

It sounds ok on paper as long as employees and employers both benefit. Meaning both bring home a little extra money.

The Senate seems to be pushing more money towards housing. It really is the main thing bleeding the country dry. That idea sounds like a good one. I hope they can come to a resolution soon.